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Will Marketers Become Intel Producers Instead of Intel Consumers?

Business intelligence provider Birst today launches the 5X version of its platform, which, the company maintains, includes a ground-breaking feature. Its new “2-Tier Analytics Technology” allows marketers to bring in data from their own favored sources to draw conclusions on such items as conversion rates, and leads-to-cash analyses without having to ask for the intercession of the IT department.

Will IT be OK with this? Birst Senior Director of Product Strategy Pedro Arellano thinks it will.

“People in every organization flock to different tools that help them do things on their own. So marketers could use their own preferred front-end tool like Excel or Tableau and do the work they need to go through 5X without sacrificing the layer of governance that IT provides,” Arellano says. “The role of IT then becomes more that of a facilitator and less about being a gatekeeper.”

Arellano says that Birst 5X delivers an integrated experience for, say, both marketing and sales that breaks down the walls between dashboards and visualization programs to put them on a common page. It’s also accessible via smartphone, giving users the ability to interact with live data without network connectivity at any place or time, such as on an airplane.

“Some of the BI products out there were built 25 years ago and still operate on legacy platforms,” Arellano says. “But a lot has changed since then, one thing being the emergence of the cloud. A lot of the older tools are not designed with the architecture to take advantage of the cloud.”

Marketers, he says, may use 5X to merge lead analysis from Eloqua or Marketo and combine it with Salesforce so that sales executives can have the access to the same information on lead conversions. “It gives a VP marketing, for instance, the ability to switch into exploration mode without being a data warehousing expert and then share her findings. It turns her into an information producer instead of an information consumer.”

Birst was founded in 2005 by former executives of Siebel CRM Systems, which was sold to Oracle. One of them is current chief customer officer Paul Staelin, who is responsible for building Siebel’s Sales Analytics product line.

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